CitraPac is a food processing company which perfected nitrogen-based super frozen “pearls” from citrus which could be packaged in consumer friendly individual containers for snack consumption. Management invested years in development and testing, and the product had evolved to consumer-ready introduction.
HCP approached the product opportunity with an open mind as to distribution targets facilitating the exploration of food service, ingredient sales, and direct-to-consumer marketing. Research was done through taste tests, field market exposure, and sample placement to determine acceptability issues. Extensive secondary product research was done in each silo of opportunity, ultimately leading to a positioning of a wholesome, alternative way to enjoy citrus products with an emphasis on healthy snacks.
Management asked HCP for insight and assistance on defining distribution, target audience, messaging, and other critical components in the development of a long-term strategy. Budget limitations were critical given the extensive development costs and the costs of pilot manufacturing facilities. Given limited corporate funds, it was important to explore leveraging opportunities and distribution partnership which would facilitate rapid deployment of the product.
To achieve market penetration and to optimize selling with a limited sales capacity, the target was modified to explore healthy food in elementary education food service operations. Simultaneously, consumer friendly packaging along with graphics, advertising, and marketing materials were developed to explore receptivity of messaging and consumer sales potential. Field tests of the product proved positive, and expansion was warranted.
While focused on product development and packaging, HCP also supported an initial trial in alternate distribution, inclusive of convenience stores and grocery. This included the development of point-of-purchase material and sourcing and defining stand-alone dispensing equipment for retail.
The product was launched nationally and resources were channeled primarily to the “healthy snack” focus in school food programs where sales and service requirements were minimized. Quantity sales were generated, and school system-wide distribution became the basis for a growing enterprise warranting manufacturing expansion.